Thursday, December 18, 2014         
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials say the project's costs will increase 10 to 15 percent, or at least $500 million. This photo taken earlier this month shows the elevated guideway under construction in East Kapolei.
Lagging tax revenues, fast-rising construction costs and project delays have Oahu's rail transit system on track to cost at least half a billion dollars more than originally budgeted, according to a financial assessment released Thursday by rail officials.

Two senior Islamic State group leaders were killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes in northern Iraq, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved new orders for several hundred troops to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces. Story »

The cause of death of an infant found in Waikiki hotel room on Nov. 26 was asphyxia, according to the medical examiner. The manner of death has been classified as a homicide.  Story »

Lava flow is now a bit less than one mile from Pahoa town's main shopping center and its intersection with Highway 130. If the pace holds, a molten stream could reach the area on Wednesday. Story »

 New walkway opens in Haleiwa revitalization
The $700,000, 650-foot walkway was designed to replace the standard curb-and-gutter sidewalk with a more rural-friendly, safer promenade, following consultation with North Shore residents and city and county staff, and guidance from the North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan. Story »
Hawaii telecom executive indicted

A federal indictment alleges the president of a telecommunications company that serves Hawaiian home lands residents siphoned off $4 million of the corporation's money for a decade to pay for personal expenses, including $92,000 in massages, a $1.3 million house and $1.3 million in false wages for his wife and three children.

School director put on leave as suspicious spending is detailed

Debit cards for Halau Lokahi Charter School's bank account have been canceled and the co-director of the school placed on administrative leave in the wake of a raid by the Attorney General's office.

Former Sacred Hearts teacher pleads guilty in sex assault case

The former Sacred Hearts Academy teacher accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student pleaded guilty in state court Wednesday to seven counts of sexual assault.

Grande thrusts Punahou senior into spotlight

Nhan-nhi "Lillian" Nguyen thought nothing of it when a customer named Ariana Grande purchased one of her handmade headbands from her Etsy shop in October.

Residents see electric bills shrink; HECO cites fuel prices

Oahu customers will see the lowest electrical bills in two years this month, with a typical household paying about $6 less than in November due to cutbacks in fuel prices.

Football: Harding earns All-America honor

Soon after being named to the Football Writers Association of America's All-America second team as a punter, former University of Hawaii player Scott Harding asked: "What does it mean?"

Police: 3 killed as car hits people leaving church

A driver hit a group of pedestrians outside a Southern California church as a Christmas service ended, killing three people -- including two women in their 80s -- and leaving up to nine others injured, police said.

From concerts and plays to mall Santas and light displays, there’s so much to do and see in Honolulu. Story »

 Commission awaits 'higher authorities'
Before taking action on allegations of police misconduct, the Honolulu Police Commission will wait until the conclusion of a possible FBI probe into the Honolulu Police Department's handling of a federal case involving police Chief Louis Kealoha's stolen mailbox, commission Chairman Ron Taketa said Wednesday. Story »
The state Ethics Commission on Wednesday rebuffed a staff recommen- dation to advise Gov. David Ige to consider replacing Aloha United Way as the state's workplace giving program with a combined state-run campaign. Story »

 Casual lifestyle of isles helps drive bag brand
Growing up in Kailua, Laura Darrah didn't think much about fashion. "I went to school with a swimsuit under my clothes," she said. But her casual upbringing informs her direction as co-founder, with Sheila Nazarian, of she + lo handbags, a brand noted for its laid-back, chic style.  Story »
Created by the 1978 state Constitutional Convention, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a public trust and state agency — that's a fact, albeit one that might not sit well among a growing number of Hawaiian sovereigntists. Story »

 Unwind Australia's coastline
Australia's legendary Pacific Coast drive will take you from Sydney in New South Wales with its prominent Opera House, spectacular harbor views, inherent beach culture and bustling city life across to the neighboring state of Queensland to its capital, Brisbane.  Story »
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They crowded around old, battered televisions in Havana and erupted in tears and applause at a spectacle they could scarcely imagine, let alone believe: President Raul Castro, followed by President Barack Obama, heralding a new era of relations between Cuba and the United States. Story »

How much holiday shopping have you done so far?
We All Can Be ‘Cooking Hawaiian Style’
Just in time for Christmas gift giving, the cookbook features recipes from the well-known celebrities and chefs who have been on the show, along with their interesting and entertaining stories. Read More »
Whither Polygamy
Those of us who espoused same-gender marriage on the grounds that government should not control whom we marry find ourselves in a bit of a pickle about polygamy. Read More »

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